A little more than a few months ago I had the pleasure of announcing Cisco’s foray into the future with the launch of our new Catalyst 9100 access points. As American film director Godfrey Reggio once said, “It’s not that we use technology, we live technology.” This quote can be applied to Cisco as well, as we recently have added to our Catalyst family a new access point, the Cisco Catalyst 9130, and a new controller, the Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on a Catalyst 9100 Access Point.
For large enterprise organizations that will see an increase in mobile and IoT traffic, the Cisco Catalyst 9130 Access Point goes beyond the Wi-Fi 6 standard and employs a host of resilient, secure and intelligent features. For stellar scale and performance, the Catalyst 9130 has four radios that can become five, when one of the 8×8 radios is able to split into two 4×4 radios. This split is a Catalyst 9130 feature called Flexible Radio Assignment (FRA). With tri-radio mode, FRA allows the access point to intelligently determine the operating mode of serving radios based on the RF environment and traffic demands. The access point is powered by a programable RF ASIC that provides real-time analytics that provides a far more efficient network. In addition, other features such as Integrated Security, full Intelligent Capture and more means that your network is now equipped to deliver a superior wireless experience.
The Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points puts control right on the AP, delivering a cost-effective Wi-Fi 6 network that is easy-to-deploy and manage without a dedicated physical appliance. It is best for distributed enterprises or organizations that want to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 with minimal IT resources. Just answer a few simple questions using the web UI or mobile application and your wireless network is up and running. Powered by IOS XE, the embedded wireless controller adds another choice to the Catalyst 9800 wireless controller family’s deployment options and provides a clear upgrade path as your network needs grow.
These two new Cisco products are perfect for a number of different environments, from the wireless-first workspace to higher education and beyond. With the Catalyst 9130, you get a seamless end-user experience on all of your Wi-Fi devices and enough bandwidth to run data intensive tools.
What does this all mean? The 9130 recognizes Apple and Samsung devices allowing for fast roaming to the nearest access point. When it comes to the bandwidth issue, worker in the open space understand that they can see a lot of unpredictable peaks and high-density occasion. The 9130 smooths out these peaks for a more consistent connectable experience. Not only that, but employees enter this space with multiple Wi-Fi devices, that run high-definition apps simultaneously. The 9130 provides a much higher data throughput allowing those devices and apps to run with less interruptions. If you’re leading a classroom and need 4K video or are running AR/VR, the Catalyst 9130 provides you with the capacity and performance to make sure that a classroom of these apps are able to run unimpeded.
As for the EWC, the same features and functionalities that make our on-premises controllers the class of the industry, are now available in a Catalyst access point. That means an always-on network where patch and update deployments doesn’t mean that the entire network has to come down.
The future is now and we at Cisco are living it! I invite you to come along and join us.
if a customer has existing Mobility Express on an AP3800 running as master can the 9100 AP’s be added or do we make the new 9130 the master & have the older AP’s join..? is their a migration tool for the config etc..? are you required to buy DNA licensing on the 9130 if using the embedded controller solution? – the problem is DNA requires buying an DN2-HW-APL which runs $80k & there is no Hyper-V/VM solution like there is with prime infrastructure – is this embedded controller also in the 9120, 9117 – lastly the new AP’s no longer support Cisco ClientLink like the AP3800/4800 do?
If customer has existing ME solution with 3800 running as Master, they can add 9100 AP as regular CAPWAP AP to serve the clients as long as they upgrade ME/Master to 8.9 or 8.10 release. Yes there is a migration tool for to convert AirOS config to IOS-XE base config.
DNA subscription (DNA-Essentials, DNA-Advantage, DNA-Premier) is required with 9100 series access points and same holds true for embedded controller solution. This does not mean that DNA Center appliance is mandatory to deploy embedded controller solution. Embedded controller solution can de deployed and managed with Mobile App, WebUI as well as programable interface. With DNA-Center advance capabilities can be enabled like PnP (plug and play), automation workflow for multi site management, assurance capabilities to monitor and troubleshoot multi site wireless deployment which includes features like iCAP, etc.
Embedded controller is available on all 9100 series access points which include 9115, 9117 and 9120.
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